You are hereFrom the Pastoral Staff -—Ana V. Kelly

From the Pastoral Staff -—Ana V. Kelly

Updated 3/21/2018

When I was in grade school at a Catholic school, we learned a simple song for mass. The first verse was,

“Let me be a little kinder.
Let me be a little blinder
to the faults of those about me.
Let me praise a little more.
Let me be when I am weary,
Just a little bit more cheery.
Let me think more of my neighbor,
And a little less of me.”

This song has been running through my mind recently, in the aftermath of more acts of violence in schools and in our world. How can we decrease the violence in our world and instead increase the goodness in it? Many topics keep coming up — gun policy, mental health concerns, the increased promotion of violent video games especially for boys, the polarization in our political culture, the rush to judge others who have different opinions than we have, the decrease in civil discourse. All of these issues, and others, need to be examined. But at times, this seems overwhelming. How can each one of us make a difference that will improve things in our world today? Is there anything we can do here and now, even as we leave church today?

In response to the recent 17 minutes of silence observed by many students across our country, one article I read suggested an idea that reminded me of the above song. What if each of us tried to do simple acts of kindness? The writer challenged students to do something as simple as sitting next to someone who normally sits alone at lunchtime. Or perhaps a student could say hello and talk with another student in class who does not seem to have many friends.

For adults, there are many opportunities for simple acts of kindness. Perhaps let another car turn in front of you. Say “Have a nice day” to someone you pass on your way to work every day. These simple acts of kindness can make such a positive difference in a person’s life; and this, in turn, creates more goodness in our world.

I still vividly remember a simple act of kindness that I received when I was little. My older brother would usually take me with him to recycle bottles at the corner store. The owner of the store was always welcoming and would sometimes give me a free piece of candy. Several years later when we were moving out of state, we dropped by the store, and my mother and I went in to say goodbye to him and to thank him for his kindness over the years. He surprised us by giving me a large, yellow box of Whitman chocolates. I still remember my total surprise and delight at this generous, selfless act of kindness. To a five year old, this was better than a pot of gold! Over the years, I have prayed many times in thanksgiving for Mr. Moore and his kindness that meant so much to me then… and still does.

Try doing a simple act of kindness for someone. And then maybe another one. And another one. “Let me be a little kinder…”

Ana V. Kelly Pastoral Associate